Leon Rose has been a pillar in the NBA world for over two decades, but his current work as President of the New York Knicks might be his best. In just three years, he has completely changed the franchise’s direction and resurrected one of the best basketball cities in the world. New York basketball is back, and Rose has the Knicks ready to make some noise in the postseason.
After spending over 25 years as an attorney, Rose began his career as a sports agent in 2007 under the Creative Arts Agency (CAA). He quickly became one of the best in the industry and represented big-time players such as Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and many more.
How Rose built the Knicks into a contender.
In 2020, Rose left the sports agency business behind to become the New York Knicks president. He overtook a lackluster roster that struggled to win games, finishing with a record of 21-45. A culture change was deeply needed for the team; Rose sensed that, and one of his first moves as president was hiring veteran coach Tom Thibodeau.
The following year, Thibadeu led the Knicks to a 41-31 record and would win NBA coach of the year. Throughout the season, Rose made pivotal moves to upgrade the roster; he acquired Immanuel Quickly in a team-three trade with Oklahoma City and Minnesota. Derick Rose in a deal with Detroit
He also signed free agents Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel. All four players were crucial pieces to their successful season. After a down year last year, Rose signed Jalen Brunson to a four-year, 104 million-dollar deal. Some criticized the contract and thought Brunson was not worth a deal of that magnitude.
Brunson is now averaging a career-high 23.9 points per game and 6.2 assists and is playing like one of the best point guards in the league. He is the perfect fit alongside Julius Randle, and the duo has proven they can hang amongst the elite.
Rose was active during the trade deadline this year as well, moving Cam Reddish for Josh Hart in a four-team deal. Since the move, the Knicks have won nine of their last ten games, two of which were against the conference-leading Boston Celtics. The 39-28 record is the eighth-best in the entire league.
Rose has assembled a roster built for the postseason, Randle and Brunson are two of the best one-on-one players in the league who can get a bucket against anyone when the game slows down. Additionally, Quickley has emerged as a sixth-man of-the-year candidate and provides much-needed scoring and playmaking off the bench.
A Thibodeau-led team will always play defense at a high level, and this team is no different and has the 6th-ranked defense in the NBA. This Knick roster has everything a contending team needs and will be a tough outcome in the playoffs.
It’ll be exciting to watch how the Knicks play out the rest of the season, but one thing is for sure, the NBA is better when the Knicks are good. Leon Rose has brought high-level basketball back to the Garden and it’s great for the league.